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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Concord Music Group. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Concord Music Group. Show all posts

Monday, January 18, 2016

Concord Records artist: Danielle Nicole - Wolf Den - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Wolf Den, from Danielle Nicole, and it's dynamite! Opening with title track, Wolf Den, Danielle Nicole who has a super voice leads the way on vocal, playing a funky cool bass riff highlighted by Mike "Shinetop" Sedovic's keyboard work. Very nice opener. Anders Osborne sets the stage for, How You Gonna Do Me Like That, an R&B style track with solid vocals, a great bass riff and tight drums by Stanton Moore. Shinetop takes a nice keyboard solo on this track giving it an authentic "era" feel and Nicole shines on bass. On soul ballad, Take It All, Nicole really shines on vocal and her bass work is spot on. A simple yet clean and tasty guitar solo from Osborne gives Nicole a vocal breather but this track is all soul and solid. Rocker, You Only Need Me When You're Down, has a great driving tom tom rhythm and over driven guitar tone from Osborne. A breakout guitar solo highlights this track with it's Spencer Davis like feel. Very cool! Somber ballad, Just Give Me Tonight, shows extremely expressive vocal work on Nicole's part. Osborne digs down with a really nicely phrased guitar solo of his own, making this one of my favorites on the release. Easin' Into The Night has strong commercial potential with it's easy feel, strong melody and an almost Bonnie Raitt feel. Didn't Do You No Good has a rock beat with just a twist of country and a pinch of soul. Putting me in mind of a contemporary Aretha track, Rock Steady, this track has great movement with strong vocal from Nicole, really cool bass riffs from Nicole, a hard driving bottom from Moore and rock guitar from Osborne. Super! On Waiting For Your Love, Nicole shows the composure of Stevie Wonder with really really nice vocals and excellent guitar work from Luther Dickinson. One of my favorite contemporary funky blues tracks, I Feel Like Breakin' Up Somebody's Home, is up next and Nicole sounds like she means business. Her vocals are powerful, her bass work authoritative and with super guitar work by Dickinson, this track slams it! It Ain't You is a solid R&B style radio track which makes you take a few double takes at the photo on the CD cover, to believe that that voice is coming out of that lady. Very nice! New Orleans flavored, In My Dreams, gets a great drum rhythm from Moore and bass line from Nicole. Her vocals are solid and natural and with the addition of slick guitar riffs from track author, Anders Osborne and flavorful key work from Shinetop, this track will get you squirming in your seat. Wrapping the release is super funky, Fade Away. This is a really nice track to conclude such a hot release with an almost Little Feat styling and Nicole's bass riffs and sassy vocals leave you wanting more. This really is an excellent release and one that definitely suggest that you check out!

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Little Richard definitive 3-CD box set coming from Specialty/Concord

Directly From My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years
features 64 classics and rarities spanning the mid-’50s through the mid-’60s. Set features 36-page booklet with notes by Billy Vera.

Photos courtesy of the Specialty Archives
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In the early ’50s, Little Richard Penniman combined the spirit of church music, the barroom-hewn raunch of blues and the swing of New Orleans jazz and turned it into something altogether new — rock ’n’ roll.  When the Macon, Ga. native signed to Art Rupe’s Specialty Records in Los Angeles, he was in turn dispatched to New Orleans to record at Cosimo’s legendary studio. Over the course of several sessions, the Little Richard sound began to develop around hits like “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Lucille,” to name a few. 
On June 2, 2015, Specialty Records — a unit of Concord Music Group — will release Directly From My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years, an all-new three-CD box set containing 64 songs that chronicle Richard’s Specialty and Vee-Jay years — 1956 to 1965. The collection contains Richard’s classics as well as B-sides and rarities. Also included is a 30-plus page illustrated booklet featuring a handful of rare photos plus new liner notes by singer/songwriter/music historian Billy Vera.
Many artists begin their career on small labels and work their way up to the majors. Conversely, Richard began his recording career at RCA Victor, brought to the label’s attention by an Atlanta DJ. There he released four singles, no hits among them. Next he signed to Don Robey’s Houston-based Duke/Peacock Records, initially as part of the Tempo Toppers band and later as a solo. The solo sides remained unreleased until Richard struck gold at his next destination, Specialty Records.  
It was at New Orleans’ legendary J&M Music Shop that Richard chanced upon Specialty’s New Orleans A&R rep, Bumps Blackwell, who brought him to the attention of Rupe in Los Angeles. On September 14, 1955, Richard, Blackwell, and New Orleans’ R&B “A team” of session players (Lee Allen and Red Tyler, saxophones; Huey Smith, piano; Justin Adams, guitar; Frank Fields, bass and Earl Palmer, drums) went into Cosimo Matassa’s studio on Rampart Street. Sadly, despite the roomful of talent, the session was, as Vera describes “an exercise in commonplace.”

An unexpected bout of magic would shortly ensue. As Vera writes, “During a lunch break at the Dew Drop Inn, Richard hopped up on the piano and began shouting out a ribald tune he always performed, usually in drag, for those college boys, ‘Tutti Frutti, Good Bootie.’ Blackwell’s eyes lit up, for the first time hearing something special in the entertainer. Spotting local songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie across the room at another table, he asked if she could clean up the naughty lyric for public consumption. She did so back at Cosimo’s and, ‘Wop bop-a-loom-bop alop bam boom,’ a hit and a career were born.”
Over the next two years, Little Richard went on to place fourteen songs in the Rhythm & Blues top ten.  These include his iconic performances of “Lucille,” “Jenny Jenny,” “Keep a Knockin’” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”  The astonishing fact is, all these classics were recorded within a mere 18-month period. 
Richard continued with Specialty until 1964, when he was brought to the attention of Chicagoans Vivian Carter and Jim Bracken — whose first initials formed the name of Vee-Jay Records. Having freshly lost both The Beatles and The Four Seasons, and having lost control of the company in a move to the West Coast, the label was on its final legs. It didn’t help that in the studio Richard used his road band, the Upsetters, who were not quite studio quality at a time the Wrecking Crew was setting the standard. On top of that, the Beatles had broken big, and a fellow flamboyant Georgia native named James Brown had broken onto the R&B scene with a brand new bag. With a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar, Richard recorded a Don Covay tune (Covay had once been employed by Richard as his chauffer and opening act), “I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Got Me,” which reached #12 on the R&B chart. The song was done in James Brown’s style and briefly brought Richard back. However, music had changed, and the R&B sounds of the day were now emanating from Stax and Motown.

Little Richard continued to make records for South Los Angeles’ Modern RecordsCBS R&B subsidiary OKeh, Brunswick, and briefly, Specialty again (in 1971), before signing to Reprise, where his “Freedom Blues” cracked the Top 50 pop and Top 30 R&B. His peak recording years behind him, Richard remained on the scene into the ’80s and early ’90s as a colorful personality.
Vera elaborates: “Changing his look, wearing an outlandish wig, outrageous outfits and letting his large personality come out, he became a sought after guest on talk shows, like Johnny Carson, Dick Cavett and Mike Douglas, taking over every conversation and talking over even the hosts. Couch potato America loved it and high paying concerts followed.”
In recent years, the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Hollywood Walk of Fame star recipient has stayed closer to the homefront. But the three-CD set Directly From My Heart: The Best of the Specialty & Vee-Jay Years is a reminder of the time, place and circumstance that helped define rock ’n’ roll.

   1.   Lonesome and Blue (2:15)
   2.   Wonderin’ (2:50)
   3.   All Night Long (2:13)
   4.   Maybe I’m Right (2:13)           
   5.   Directly From My Heart (2:19)           
   6.   Baby (2:05)
   7.   I’m Just a Lonely Guy (All Alone) (2:36)       
   8.   Tutti Frutti (2:23)
   9.   Chicken Little Baby (1:42)
10.   True, Fine Mama (2:40)          
11.   Kansas City (2:37)
12.   Wonderin’ (2:59)
13.   Slippin’ and Slidin’ (Peepin’ and Hidin’) (2:41)
14.   Long Tall Sally (The Thing) (2:08)
15.   Miss Ann (2:15)
16.   The Most I Can Offer (Just My Heart) (2:24)
17.   Oh Why? (2:07)
18.   Heeby-Jeebies Love (2:09)
19.   I Got It (2:19)
20.   Ready Teddy (2:06)
21.   Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey (2:06)
22.   Rip It Up (2:20)      
   1.   Lucille (2:24)
   2.   Heeby-Jeebies (2:10)
   3.   All Around the World (2:24)
   4.   Shake a Hand (2:51)
   5.   Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave (2:26)
   6.   She’s Got It (2:24)
   7.   Jenny, Jenny (2:01)     
   8.   Good Golly, Miss Molly (2:08)
   9.   Baby Face (2:14)         
10.   The Girl Can’t Help It (2:30)
11.   By the Light of the Silvery Moon (2:04)         
12.   Send Me Some Lovin’ (2:17)
13.   Keep a Knockin’ (2:11)
14.   Ooh! My Soul (2:10)
15.   I'll Never Let You Go (Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo) (2:19)
16.   Early One Morning (2:12)
17.   She Knows How to Rock (1:59)          
18.   Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1:52)
19.   Bama Lama Bama Loo (2:13)
20.   Poor Boy Paul (2:03)
21.   Annie Is Back (1:57)

1. Goin’ Home Tomorrow (3:09)      
2. Goodnight Irene (2:37)                
3. Money Honey (2:18)                                                                    
4. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (2:17)                                                                      
5. Blueberry Hill (1:48)
6. Cherry Red (2:33)
7. Only You (2:24)
8. Memories Are Made of This (2:12)
9. Groovy Little Suzy (2:14)
10.  Short Fat Fanny (2:10)
11.  Cross Over (2:40)
12. My Wheels They Are Slippin' All the Way (2:24)                                                                     
13. It Ain’t Whatcha Do (It's the Way How You Do It) (2:20)
14. Something Moves in My Heart (2:12)                                                              
15. Without Love (3:16)
16. Dance What You Wanna (2:16)
17. Talkin’ ’Bout Soul (2:08)                                                                    
18.  Dancing All Around the World (2:56)                                                            
19. You Better Stop (3:05)                                                              
20. I Don’t Know What You’ve Got but It’s Got Me (4:05)
21.  Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used to Do) (3:06)   
# # #

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gregg Allman's Vast Musical Legacy Is Honored on "All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman," Out May 6 on Rounder


Gregg Allman’s Vast Musical Legacy Is Honored On All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman, Out May 6 on Rounder

Rolling Stone Premieres “Midnight Rider”
Watch Here:


Nashville, TN – April 2, 2014 – On January 10, 2014, a multi-generational assortment of musicians from the worlds of rock, blues and country joined together at Atlanta's historic Fox Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime all-star performance to pay tribute to the life and music of the legendary singer/musician/songwriter Gregg Allman.  That live musical event can now be experienced via the new multimedia package All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman, set for release by Rounder Records on May 6th, 2014

Shot in high definition video with 5:1 Dolby sound, this 1-DVD, 2-CD package (also available in multiple format variations including Blu-Ray) captures the four-hour concert event in its entirety.  The show features a diverse assortment of high-profile Allman admirers paying tribute to the iconic veteran rocker, delivering distinctive new performances of classic material drawn from his four and a half decades as a recording artist; encompassing his landmark work with the legendary Allman Brothers Band as well as his parallel solo career.

The variety of the artists paying tribute to Allman, and the diversity of their interpretations of his songs, attests to the broad appeal of Allman's talents, which transcend stylistic and generational boundaries.  With musical direction by noted producer/musician Don Was, several of the guest performers are drawn from the Allman Brothers Band's extended musical family, including current ABB guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (who also appears here with his wife and frequent musical partner Susan Tedeschi) and Gregg's talented son Devon Allman.

The prestigious slate of performers also includes such Allman contemporaries as Jackson Browne, Dr. John, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal, Wet Willie singer Jimmy Hall and classic soul man Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave fame), along with such younger acts as Robert Randolph, Keb' Mo', Widespread Panic and Pat Monahan of Train.  Such notable guest performers as Eric Church, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Zac Brown, Brantley Gilbert and Jess Franklin represent the world of country music, long a key component in Allman’s musical consciousness.

All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman would not be complete without Allman's own authoritative voice, which is spotlighted here on collaborative readings of landmark tunes with Gregg's onetime L.A. roommate Jackson Browne ("These Days," "Melissa"), Vince Gill and Zac Brown ("Midnight Rider") and Taj Mahal ("Statesboro Blues").  Gregg also joins with the Allman Brothers Band to deliver fiery readings of the classics "Dreams" and "Whipping Post," which precede a set-closing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," performed by the show's full cast.  With the recent announcement that the Allman Brothers Band will cease touring at the end of 2014, these may be among the last recordings of the band on stage.

The All My Friends show features a celebrated house band that includes Don Was on bass, former Allman Brothers Band members Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Jack Pearson (guitar), ex-Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed, Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and renowned drummer-to-the-stars Kenny Aronoff.

As Allman later enthused, "That show was one of the highlights of my life.  It was great to see old friends, and everyone was so gracious and really poured their souls into my songs.  It was a very special night."

In most video formats, All My Friends also features extensive bonus video material, including 26 exclusive interviews with the show's performers, candid behind-the-scenes material, and historic footage of a special presentation to Allman.

Gregg Allman is one of rock's most acclaimed and beloved icons, possessing a distinctively soulful voice and singular songwriting ability that resonate through a musical career that spans nearly half a century.  Gregg, along with the Allman Brothers Band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1995.  At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, the group was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The same year, Gregg's critically acclaimed tell-all memoir, My Cross to Bear, spent several weeks as a New York Times Bestseller.

Amazon 2CD + DVD preorder:
Amazon 2CD + Blu-Ray  preorder:
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Track listing:

CD 1
            1.          Come and Go Blues – Warren Haynes
                        (Gregg Allman)
            2.          End of the Line – Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman-Warren Haynes-John Jaworowicz-Allen Woody)
            3.          Stand Back – Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman-Raymond Berry Oakland III)
            4.          You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had – Devon Allman, Jimmy Hall and  Robert                                          Randolph
                         (McKinley Morganfield)
            5.          Please Call Home – Sam Moore
                        (Gregg Allman)
            6.          Just Another Rider – Keb’ Mo’
                        (Gregg Allman-Warren Haynes)
            7.          Before the Bullets Fly – Brantley Gilbert
                        (Warren Haynes- John Jaworowicz-Henry Jack Williams)

            8.          Let This Be a Lesson to Ya – Dr. John
                        (Gregg Allman-Malcolm Rebennack)
            9.          Queen of Hearts – Pat Monahan
                        (Gregg Allman)
            10.        One Way Out – John Hiatt
                         (Sonny Boy Williamson-Elmore James-Marshall Sehorn)
            11.        Statesboro Blues – Taj Mahal and Gregg Allman
                        (Blind Willie McTell)
            12.        Just Ain’t Easy – Widespread Panic
                        (Gregg Allman)
            13.        Wasted Words – Widespread Panic and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman)
            14.        I’m No Angel – Trace Adkins
                        (Tony Colton-Phil Palmer)

CD 2

            1.          Trouble No More – Trace Adkins
                        (Muddy Waters)
            2.          Multi-Colored Lady – Vince Gill
                        (Gregg Allman)
            3.          All My Friends – Martina McBride
                        (Scott Boyer)
            4.          Can You Fool – Pat Monahan and Martina McBride
                        (Michael Smotherman)
            5.          Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More – Eric Church
                        (Gregg Allman)
            6.          Win, Lose or Draw – Eric Church
                        (Gregg Allman)
            7.          These Days – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman
                        (Jackson Browne)
            8.          Melissa – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman
                        (Gregg Allman-Steve Alaimo)
            9.          Midnight Rider – Vince Gill, Zac Brown and Gregg Allman 
                        (Gregg Allman-Robert Kim Payne)
            10.        Dreams – The Allman Brothers Band
                        (Gregg Allman)
            11.        Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band
                        (Gregg Allman)

            12.        Will the Circle Be Unbroken – full cast

            1.          Come and Go Blues – Warren Haynes

            2.          End of the Line – Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks

            3.          Stand Back – Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks

            4.          You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had – Devon Allman, Jimmy Hall and Robert                                        Randolph

            5.          Please Call Home – Sam Moore

            6.          Just Another Rider – Keb’ Mo’

            7.          Before the Bullets Fly – Brantley Gilbert

            8.          Let This Be a Lesson to Ya – Dr. John

            9.          Queen of Hearts – Pat Monahan

            10.        One Way Out – John Hiatt

            11.        Statesboro Blues – Taj Mahal and Gregg Allman

            12.        Just Ain’t Easy – Widespread Panic

            13.        Wasted Words – Widespread Panic and Derek Trucks

            14.        I’m No Angel – Trace Adkins

            15.        Trouble No More – Trace Adkins

            16.        Multi-Colored Lady – Vince Gill

            17.        All My Friends – Martina McBride

            18.        Can You Fool – Pat Monahan and Martina McBride

            19.        Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More – Eric Church

            20.        Win, Lose or Draw – Eric Church

            21.        These Days – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman

            22.        Melissa – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman

            23.        Midnight Rider – Vince Gill, Zac Brown and Gregg Allman

            24.        Dreams – The Allman Brothers Band

            25.        Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band

            26.        Will the Circle Be Unbroken – full cast

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rounder Records Completes Move to Nashville

  Rounder Logo 140x107px
Concord Music Group Acquires Treasured Children's Label Music For Little People, 
Imprint Will Operate Under Rounder 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MARCH 6, 2014 - Rounder Records, a division of leading independent music company Concord Music Group, today announced the completion of the company's relocation from its longtime base of Boston, Massachusetts to its new home in Nashville, Tennessee.  The region's vibrant creative community and dynamic business environment offer Rounder an enormous opportunity to build on its legacy as one of America's most revered music labels.  Located in The Gulch, Nashville's popular shopping and entertainment district, Rounder's new headquarters (1209 Pine Street, Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37203) is centered in the heart of the city's thriving metropolitan core.

A major force in a broad range of musical genres including Americana, bluegrass, country, folk, rock, Cajun/Zydeco and children's music, Rounder Records has helped shape American roots music for over 40 years. Its outstanding artist roster includes Alison Krauss, Steve Martin, RUSH, Gregg Allman, Raffi, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Carlene Carter, Steep Canyon Rangers, Tony Trischka and rising stars such as J.D. McPherson, Della Mae and others.

Concord Music Group and Rounder are additionally delighted about the effort to broaden their presence in children's entertainment, anchored by the recent acquisition of the beloved record label Music For Little People.  The company will operate as an imprint under Rounder, which shares a long and complementary history in children's music.  A premiere children's music showcase for 25+ years, Music For Little People releases have featured artists such as Willie Nelson, Faith Hill, Taj Mahal, Los Lobos, Laurie Berkner, AC/DC's Brian Johnson, Pete Seeger and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to name but a few.  Music For Little People founder Leib Ostrow will continue to be an essential contributor to the label going forward.  A slate of new projects is scheduled for release in 2014 and beyond.

Headed by President John Virant, Rounder's Nashville team includes Vice President of A&R Scott Billington, newly appointed Vice President of A&R Tracy Gershon and Director of Project Management Eliza Levy.  Rounder will continue to be supported by Concord's integrated national sales and marketing services.

Rounder Records founders, Ken Irwin, Bill Nowlin and Marian Leighton Levy remain in the Boston area and continue to be actively engaged in the company, producing and consulting on various Rounder projects.

"Rounder has always been driven by the music, and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute and be part of the Music City community," said Rounder President John Virant.

"In many ways, the move to Nashville feels like a natural transition," stated Concord Music Group President and CEO Glen Barros.  "The region's deeply rooted, artist friendly culture and its surrounding business community make it the ideal home for Rounder.  Additionally, Music For Little People is a great label that will strengthen Rounder's commitment to quality entertainment for children.  We couldn't be more excited about this next chapter in the company's incredible story."

About Rounder Records:
Rounder has been at the center of American roots music the last 40 years.  The self-titled 1975 record by J.D. Crowe and the New South (featuring future stars Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice and Jerry Douglas) revitalized bluegrass and inspired such modern superstars as Rounder's own Alison Krauss, who is the most decorated female artist in the history of the GRAMMY® Awards and has also sold over eight million albums and DVDs.   Her collaboration with Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant on the album Raising Sand emerged as one of 2007's major critical and word-of-mouth sales success stories. The album was RIAA-certified platinum in early 2008 and won five GRAMMY® Awards including Album and Record of the Year in 2009.  An unequaled leader in the preservation and re-release of precious historic recordings, Rounder has brought the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and Mississippi John Hurt back to vibrant life.  In addition, their dazzling work on the epic anthologies from the Library of Congress and the Alan Lomax Collection has been universally respected and admired.

About Concord Music Group:
Based in Beverly Hills, CA privately held Concord Music Group, is one of the largest independent record and music publishing companies in the world and owner of a rich and historically significant catalog of recordings. A small sampling of the company's active roster includes such renowned artists as Sir Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Alison Krauss, Chick Corea, James Taylor, Booker T. Jones, George Benson, Steve Martin, Valerie June, Christian Scott, Gregg Allman, Elbow, Ben Harper and Esperanza Spalding.  Concord's stellar catalog includes legends such as John Coltrane, John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Thelonious Monk, Isaac Hayes, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett, among many others. The company's celebrated family of labels includes Concord Records, Concord Jazz, Hear Music, Fantasy, Stax, Milestone, Riverside, Specialty, Telarc, Heads Up, Prestige and famed American roots label Rounder Records.

The group's artists and music have won over 200 GRAMMY® Awards, an affirmation of the company's mission to enrich lives by providing enduring music in creative and innovative ways. Concord Music Group's releases are distributed throughout the world by Universal Music Group and are regularly licensed for use in major motion pictures, television and advertising.

In March of 2013, Wood Creek Capital Management, LLC acquired Concord Music Group in partnership with an individual investor group that includes members of Concord's senior management. As an investment manager at the forefront of intellectual property investing, the investment in Concord underscores Wood Creek's belief in the lasting and appreciating value of great music content around the globe.